How Much Can You Drink and Drive in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2023

Drink and drive laws in Newfoundland and Labrador

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.50 mg or 0.05% gram. This restriction is lower and more rigid than in other Canadian provinces.

Driving while intoxicated is the top criminal cause of death in Canada. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). In fact, 377 impaired driving convictions were recorded in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2021.

Newfoundland and Labrador strictly enforce provincial rules and regulations to combat impaired driving incidents. These regulations are in place to discourage drunk driving and keep impaired drivers off the road.

Before we go any further into impaired driving in Newfoundland and Labrador, please keep in mind that the goal of this post is solely informational. It should not be construed as an encouragement to drink and drive.

If you must travel after drinking, we recommend using a cab or hiring a designated driver. It is also critical to stay up to date on current impaired driving rules. Therefore regularly visiting the province’s official website is necessary.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Newfoundland and Labrador

It is permissible to consume a small amount of alcohol before driving in Newfoundland and Labrador as long as your BAC is within the legal limit.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador imposes administrative penalties on drivers whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is.05% or higher.

According to research, alcohol-related accidents have decreased in places with 0.05 BAC limits.

Alcohol has different effects on each individual. Your capacity to handle alcohol can vary depending on some factors, including:

  • gender
  • weight
  • mood
  • fatigue level
  • an empty stomach
  • medications
  • the consumption rate

Blood alcohol levels in men and women are significantly different. Women frequently have higher BACs than men of the same age and weight.

Men also have more highly active types of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) in their bodies, which aids in the faster processing of alcohol.

While the studies and observations regarding alcohol processing outlined above can help you determine your blood alcohol level, they are unreliable since alcohol has various effects on different people.

The most reliable approach to establish how much alcohol is in your system is to use an alcohol breathalyzer.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Newfoundland and Labrador

According to the Newfoundland and Labrador government, a total of 377 impaired driving convictions were recorded in 2021.

Alcohol consumption can impact one’s attention, perception, and psychomotor skills. An extensive literature review revealed that having a BAC of 0.05% can cause impairment and significantly affect driving ability. 

The chance of an accident increases when a motorist is drunk. Most people’s ability to drive is impaired at 0.05%, and the risk of getting involved in a crash increases as one’s BAC level increases.

Newfoundland and Labrador have a provincial sanction for impaired driving governed by the federal government under the Criminal Code.

Getting penalties for drinking with 0.05% BAC may not dissuade people from drinking alcohol, but it might discourage binge drinking.

We will discuss Newfoundland and Labrador’s penalties for impaired driving below.

Driver’s License Suspension

New drivers registered in the Graduated Drivers License (GDL) program in Newfoundland are not permitted to drive after consuming any alcohol. If you have a GDL and are found driving with a BAC of more than 0.00, you will face the following penalties:

  • First offense: license suspension for two months
  • Second offense: license suspension for four months
  • Third offense: license suspension for six months

If you were caught driving with 0.05% BAC, you would face the following penalties:

  • First and second offenses: license suspension for 24 hours.
  • Third offense: license suspension for two months
  • Fourth offense: license suspension for four months
  • Fifth and subsequent offenses: six-month license suspension

If you are driving with a BAC of more than 0.08, you will risk criminal charges as well as:

  • License suspension for 24 hours
  • An additional 90-day license suspension will be imposed 14 days following the arrest

If you are charged with impaired driving in Newfoundland, the following penalties apply:

  • First offense: one-year suspension from driving, a $600 fine, and a mandatory Think First alcohol education program.
  • Second offense: driving restriction for three years, a minimum of 14 days in jail, and mandatory alcohol and drug dependency tests.
  • Third offense: minimum ten-year driving ban, minimum 90-day incarceration, and mandatory alcohol and drug dependence screening

Alcohol Awareness Program

All impaired driving offenders must complete the Think First program before their driving privileges can be reinstated. The four-hour class, which costs $160, focuses on the dangers of drinking and driving. 

If you have committed multiple offenses, you must be evaluated for alcohol and drug addiction. If the assessment indicates an addiction, you must complete a drug rehabilitation program before your license can be reinstated.

Mandatory Ignition Interlock Program 

  • As a condition of license reinstatement, a driver with a suspended license due to an impaired driving conviction must participate in a mandated ignition interlock program.
  • With the ignition interlock program, the driver must blow into the tube and obtain a BAC of 0.00 before the engine can start. Tampering with the device can result in a $20,000 fine.

Individuals who enroll in this program must utilize the ignition interlock for the following periods:

  • First offense: 9 months
  • Second and subsequent offenses: 30 months

Vehicle Impoundment

All kinds of automobiles may be impounded, including the following:

  • recreational vehicles
  • passenger vehicles
  • motorcycles
  • trucks and
  • buses

Borrowed, utilized for business or employment, rented, or leased vehicles can also be impounded.

Some instances wherein your vehicle may be impounded at the roadside are the following:

  • Any driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher will have their vehicle confiscated for at least 30 days.
  • Drivers aged 22 and up with a BAC of 0.05% or above but less than 0.08% will have their vehicle seized for seven days.
  • If a novice driver or a motorist under 22 is discovered to have a blood alcohol concentration greater than zero but less than 0.08%, their vehicle will be confiscated for seven days.

When Can You Drink and Drive in Newfoundland and Labrador?

As previously stated, the effects of alcohol vary from person to person. The following research-based information on the estimated amount of alcohol you can consume before driving does not apply to everyone. Same applies when you use BAC calculator.

How Many Beers Can You Consume and Drive in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Drink beer and drive in newfoundland and labrador

Twelve ounces (350 ml) of beer typically contains about 5% alcohol. According to the BAC chart, a male weighing 63 kilograms (140 pounds) can have a BAC level of 0.03% after consuming one bottle of beer in an hour.

A woman with the same weight may have a BAC level of 0.04% after drinking one beer. Thus, consuming one beer is enough to stay within Newfoundland and Labrador’s legal BAC limit.

How Much Wine Can You Drink and Drive in Newfoundland and Labrador?

A glass of wine with 142 ml (5 oz.) typically has 12% alcohol. Depending on your age, weight, and other characteristics, drinking one glass of wine is enough to avoid the risk zone for impairment.

How Many Shots of Vodka or Whiskey Can You Drink and Drive in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Distilled alcohol or spirits usually contain more alcohol than beers and wines. You can drink one shot of vodka or whiskey to stay within the legal BAC limit in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Again, it is essential to note that the BAC chart is only a guide. The best way to measure the BAC levels in your system is by using a breathalyzer.

Sticking to Newfoundland and Labrador Impaired Driving Laws

You may safely travel after drinking by choosing other modes of transportation.

You might think you can drive after drinking a few bottles, but it is best not to drive at all. Try calling a friend, hailing a cab, or taking public transportation and ride-hailing services instead of driving yourself home.

If driving after drinking is unavoidable, be sure your blood alcohol concentration is within the legal limit. Ensure you are updated with the state or province’s traffic laws. Remember to use a trustworthy breathalyzer to evaluate your blood alcohol content accurately.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.